Health and social care leaders discuss ways to improve wellbeing without relying medicinal treatments

PRESS RELEASE

Bury’s health, social care and voluntary sector leaders attended an event organised by Public Health (Bury Council) with support from NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to discuss the benefits of social prescribing.

Rather than taking a clinical route, social prescribing empowers individuals to improve their health and wellbeing by referring them to activities or social and community support groups that will positively impact their wellbeing.

Quite often patients attend their GP Practice looking for support for things like anxiety or loneliness, and sometimes, medicine isn’t the best or only answer with social solutions offering lots of benefits.

The event focused on activity that is already taking place across the borough that touch on social prescribing including a GP pilot project called A Better Life For You and The Bury Directory.

A Better Life For You links the effects of sickness absence, deprivation, mental health and unemployment to an individual’s overall wellbeing and uses a GP referral route into work as a means of improvement. The pilot is a joint project between Bury Council services, GPs and health and social care professionals as well as employment support services including JobCentre Plus.

Residents across the borough can currently access advice, activities and services available to support them locally from The Bury Directory. A new self help tool is being piloted in Bury East and Radcliffe called the Quality of Life Wheel on The Bury Directory which provides users with a personalised wellbeing plan to support them to access help within their local community.

The attendees agreed that there is still a need for more support to be made available across the borough and for health and social care professionals to be in a position to actively signpost people to these alternative solutions. The feedback and ideas from the event will be explored further so that practical next steps can be developed.

Dr. Jeff Schryer, Clinical Lead for NHS Bury CCG and GP at Whittaker Lane Medical Centre in Prestwich, said: “Social prescribing is an innovative method to dealing with health conditions or situations where medication may not always be only solution, such as some mental health issues and loneliness.”

“Although we have some projects and referrals taking place in Bury, we need to introduce processes to ensure social prescribing happens at the first consideration in every consultation when addressing isolation and loneliness or supporting local people with mental health problems. By working collaboratively with the council and the local health, social care and voluntary sector, we can start to look at practical steps to how we could implement social prescribing in a more widespread way across Bury.”

ENDS

Date: 2nd March 2017

FOR PRESS & MEDIA ENQUIRIES: NHS Bury CCG’s Press Office on 0161 762 3106 or email buccg.communications@nhs.net
 

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